Planning and inventory automation services: How do you choose?

As a B2B marketer, you are likely finding that traditional marketing methods are challenged. Prospects have learned to filter messages – and a “broadcast approach” can struggle to make an impression. And, according to research by CEB, the average customer is 57 per cent through the buying process before they first make contact with a supplier. So, assuming you can scale the barriers to their initial attention, you need to provide what they really want at this stage – informative, educational content that helps answer their questions or solve their inventory automation problems.

telephones-405921_640But once you have created this valuable content, how do you ensure that it’s delivering the best possible results? That’s where marketing automation services can help. In short, these technologies complement an effective inbound strategy, helping your business to successfully convert leads into customers. But be warned: they are not a substitute for great content. Marketing automation only works if your company makes a concerted effort to attract prospects in the first place, be it through search, blog posts, social media, emails or other means. Without content, software is useless; but without software, content can get lost in the crowd and its impact can be hard to measure.

Where do you start? The marketing automation industry is growing at a rapid pace and is in a constant state of flux. Software can’t create your inbound strategy – but it can enable part of it.

Each of the big players varies with the services they provide, so it’s really down to you to decide which one, if any, best suits your business’ needs. One of the great things about the marketing automation technology is that it helps companies to bypass the media and become their own publishers; creating educational content that is aimed specifically at their target audience. Planning automation helps us to promote and distribute our content so that it attracts new visitors – and turns those visitors into leads and then customers.